War of the Realms: Omega #1 isn’t a book only about The Punisher. It’s an anthology comic issue (with a framing story involving Daredevil and Heimdall) that sets readers up for individual incoming series for Loki, Jane Foster and Frank Castle. As a Punisher site, we’re cutting through the gunk and giving you the unfiltered Punisher portion with a review of “War Orphans”, an excellent 9-page story bridging Gerry Duggan’s War of the Realms – The Punisher title to Punisher: Kill Krew (a miniseries debuting August 14th)!
As an epilogue to Frank’s journey in the War of the Realms, “War Orphans” focuses on Frank visiting Jones (a grieving father who lost his entire family and was rescued by Frank in War of the Realms – The Punisher #1). Focusing on the bigger picture, “War Orphans” shows us what’s really going on in New York City beyond the superheroes and monsters. While the war is over for many, it’s never over for Frank Castle. Along the way, Frank confronts a destroyed city with ordinary people hungry and looting, many dead to be buried and many monsters left to kill.
Short and personal, the only action in this short comes from a confrontation between Frank and some Asgardians who are inappropriately celebrating at a bar. Unfortunately, the potential fight is cut short with the arrival of a certain Asgardian. While the loss of Jones’s family is a mere footnote in the War of the Realms’s catalog of destruction and death, it’s a loss that Frank Castle can empathize with all too well. It’s all too appropriate that Jones is the connective thread of Gerry Duggan’s storyline. I would say that Frank’s entire arc has been the most human story within the War of the Realms, one that shows how ordinary people in the streets are dealing with death and destruction.
Complementing this personal tale is the great artwork of Juan Ferreyra. He perfectly captured the natural reactions of every character. The panels are vivid and it’s impressive how “cinematic” the backgrounds are. Juan is not only an artist, he is also a storyteller and it will be exciting to see his work continue in Kill Krew.
Overall Verdict: Since the beginning of the War of the Realms, Gerry Duggan has written a very simple and direct story about The Punisher. “War Orphans” continues that trend and tells us the aftermath of the War of the Realms from Frank Castle’s personal perspective in a short story with humanity and depth.